Double taxation of dividends
Someone posted, "As a reminder, unless Congress acts before year-end, future dividends will be taxed as ordinary income."
This is not true, no matter how many times this gets said (mostly by Republicans). Without getting into the idiological disputes surrounding this issue, let me say that year end is not some kind of irrevocable deadline for changing this. In fact, for political reasons, Democrats intend to delay making any changes to the tax code until after year end.
I don't know whether or not they will be sucessful with this delaying tactic and I don't know whether the rate on dividends will be allowed to return to former rates or not. But this I do know: The end of the year is not some kind of irrevocable deadline! Changes could be passed after New Years', and made retroactive to the first of the year. In fact, I see this as the most likely scenario, although I have no idea what will happen to the tax on dividends.
Dividends are effectively double taxed, but the whole point of investing is to get a return on money invested, not tax avoidance. As long as the taxes on dividends amount to less than 100% (and they certainly do), dividends will be an important consideration in investing.
As for the double taxation of dividends, there are at least three possible cures:
(1) reduce or eliminate the tax on dividends
(2) reduce or eliminate corporate taxes
(3) Allow corporations to deduct dividends paid as an expense, just like they deduct interest.
I personally favor (3).